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First Look: Smorgasburg’s Schnitz Opens Its East Village Sando Shop This Weekend

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Donna and Yoni Erlich (Photos: Jenna Marotta)

Schnitz interior 2Spiegel isn’t the only East Village newcomer that’ll soon be serving schnitzel. Yoni Erlich, 27, is aiming to open Schnitz this Friday with his sister, Donna, 28. And they’ve got big plans for the those pounded, breaded and fried cutlets.

“Schnitzel’s kind of like falafel 20 years ago — it was there, but people didn’t really know about it,” said Yoni. “We thought, ‘Why can’t schnitzel be the next falafal? Or the next meatball?'”
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Spiegel Opens Monday With Fish Tacos and Cali Coffee

Spiegel's inviting interior. (photo: Allyson Shiffman)

Spiegel’s inviting interior. (photo: Allyson Shiffman)

Forget Arabian/French, Japanese/Ukrainian or Swedish/Mexican — new neighborhood joint Spiegel is ditching the East Village trend of unexpected cuisine marriages and going simply “International.” “I grew up in Israel, I lived in New York for 13 years and traveled Central America,” says owner Shmulike Avital. “I picked up good stuff from all over.”
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Jorge Arias of Bushwick’s The Sampler Has Opened an East Village Wine Shop

The interior of Urban Wines (photo: Allyson Shiffman)

The interior of Urban Wines (photo: Allyson Shiffman)

Urban Wines. (Photo: Allyson Shiffman)

Urban Wines. (Photo: Allyson Shiffman)

The opening of a new wine store is always cause for celebration, particularly if it boasts a healthy selection of bottles under $15, daily tastings and signage featuring Walter White. That’s precisely what you get with Urban Wines, which opened this past Saturday on First Avenue between Second and Third Streets.

“Every day I like to have a glass of wine,” says owner Jorge Arias. “So I open a bottle and share it with the customers.”
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An ‘Arabian French Bistro’ Opens On Avenue A Tonight

photo: Frank Linkoff

Photo: Frank Linkoff

If the East Village didn’t already have enough restaurants which marry two seemingly disparate cultures, tonight it can add “Arabian French Bistro” Au Za’atar to the list. Located at 12th and A (in the space that previously housed Table 12), the restaurant’s menu certainly leans towards Arabian: there’s a range of traditional mezze (hummus, falafel, lamb tartare with scallion and mint) as well as grilled kebabs, various lamb dishes, and Tunisian cous cous served vegetarian or with lamb, merguez or chicken.
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A New Nook For Sushi and Chicken Hearts

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

East Villagers, if you’re searching for a new sushi standby following the closing of Sapporo East and Shima and the relocation of Sushi Lounge, newly opened Sushi Zayy might be a contender.

Taking over the space that previously housed Pudgie’s/Nathan’s/Arthur Treacher’s, the restaurant offers your regular soup/salad/sushi/sashimi/maki fare as well as a $40 omakase option. Things get interesting in the grilled chicken section, where there are copious options (thighs, hearts, neck, soft bone… pick your poison).
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Joseph Latimore (Passerby, Panda) Has Opened Sensei, ‘For Artists and People Who Love Art’

Athena LaTocha's New Works, Installation View at Sensei Gallery. (Photo: Allyson Shiffman)

Athena LaTocha’s new works at Gallery Sensei. (Photo: Allyson Shiffman)

For every couple of dozen unpleasant openings and closings in LES, there’s one that manages to restore our faith in the neighborhood, if only for a glorious moment. Gallery Sensei, a 2,000 sq. ft. gallery and arts event space at 278 Grand Street, is one such opening. The permanent outpost of the art project of the same name, Sensei promises exhibitions, art events and even booze! Yes, there’s a charming bar in the back of the space ideal for discussing the works on view or how much your rent has gone up this month.
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‘The Room’ Is Now Showing (No, Not the One You Throw Spoons At)

Minjung Kim, The Room, 2008, mixed media on rice paper affixed to panel, courtesy the artist and Oko

Minjung Kim, The Room, 2008, mixed media on rice paper affixed to panel, courtesy the artist and Oko

What appears to be an infinite black vortex in the miniscule space nestled between the Asian restaurants on East 10th Street are actually the detailed paintings of Korean artist Minjung Kim. Entitled “The Room” (not to be confused with the Tommy Wiseau flick that’s always playing at Sunshine) the exhibit is the artist’s first solo show in New York in over a decade, and it could not have found a more appropriate home than Oko, the nondescript East Village gallery known for its immersive art experiences.
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Third Rail Coffee Very Quietly Opens On a Very Quiet Block

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Third Rail Coffee (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

When he moved to New York City 21 years ago, Third Rail Coffee owner Humberto Ricardo would take the scenic route to the subway from his apartment in Alphabet City, so he could walk down Stuyvesant Street, one of the oldest streets in the city.

“Basically, I fell in love with it,” he says. Six years ago, when Ricardo began making plans to open a coffee shop, he dreamed of securing a location on Stuyvesant.
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